Families of listeriosis victims urged to join lawsuit against Tiger Brands

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Families of listeriosis victims urged to join lawsuit against Tiger Brands

USA lawyer Bill Marler, who won $110 million in compensation from fast-food chain Jack in the Box for victims of a 1993 ecoli outbreak in the United States that sickened 700 people and killed four, is consulting on the case.

Families of the victims of the listeriosis outbreak are being urged to join a class action suit against Tiger Brands.

The government news service said that as of Thursday, 967 cases of liseriosis had been confirmed by lab tests in South Africa since January 1 previous year.

The source is low-cost processed meats that are mostly consumed by the poor and working class, prompting a recall of such products and bans on imports of them from South Africa by several countries in the region.

Health officials say the source of the outbreak was an Enterprise Food plant, owned by Tiger Brands, 300 kilometres (185 miles) northeast of the South African capital Pretoria.

UNBS said some of the suspected pre-packaged products from South Africa include, ready-to-eat deli meats (polony, ham, salami, etc.), hot dogs, refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads, sausages, etc.

"(We will) put together a class action on behalf of the victims", Spoor told AFP by telephone.

"The reasons for doing that are that the overwhelming majority of those affected by this epidemic are poor people, they're widely distributed and there's an enormous range of damages that people have suffered", Spoor added.

Tiger Brands said in a statement that it had received a report from the department of health on Thursday which confirmed the presence of the LST6 listeria strain at its factory in the northern city of Polokwane.

"You're certainly talking about (a settlement) of several hundred million rand", he claimed.

The disease causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhea and infection of the blood stream and brain.

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